A Planet Like Earth?

NightSky13Jan_300x200NASA announced today that it might have found another planet similar to Earth.  This is an exciting find but I must add that right now Kepler 452b isn’t exactly looking like an Earth 2.0.

It is within its star’s habitable zone but is also twice as big as Earth.  The other troubling thing is that its star is about a billion and a half years older than our Sun.  According to our current understanding of stellar evolution, this star’s energy output has been increasing and any water that may have existed on the planet has begun to boil away.  Plus, we aren’t even 100% sure that is indeed a rocky world.  It’s right on the cusp of either being a “super earth” or a gas world like Neptune.

Still, this find shows that Earth-like worlds may be more common than we think and that we are getting better at locating them.  The Kepler telescope has shown us that about 10% of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy may have Earth-like worlds in orbit around them.  That means of the 600 stars within 30 light years of Earth, 60 of them could be rock worlds very similar to our own.

Here’s a link to the BBC about the discovery. 

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